Minor League Report.

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AAA: SWB rained out

AA: Trenton rained out.

High A: Tampa (63-71) split a DH.

Reg. sched. game: Lost 4-0, getting just 2 hits. SS Diego Castillo’s 3 errors led to 3 unearned runs.

Makeup of 8/27 rainout: Won 5-3. Castillo 2 hits, RBI. 1B Steven Sensley 2 hits, 2 RBI.

Low A: Charleston (69-66) lost 8-5. LF Canaan Smith 2 hits, .306. RF Josh Stowers 2 RBI. C Eduardo Navas 3 hits, 2 RBI. 2 solo HR.

 

Prospects heading for the Arizona Fall League.

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From MLB.com

Yankees (Surprise): Daniel Bies, RHP; Glenn Otto, RHP; Donny Sands, C; Josh Stowers, OF; Brandon Wagner, 1B

Acquired from the Mariners in an offshoot of the Sonny Gray trade in January, Stowers has a chance to have four average or better tools, with his arm the lone exception. Otto has had difficulty staying healthy but can reach 97 mph and devastate hitters with his curveball when he’s at 100 percent.

S.T. Game 5. Yanks win rain-shortened game but now Stanton is hurt.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks won a game called in the fifth, 8-2 over the defending champion Nationals to even their S.T. record at 2-2-1, but got some more bad injury news.

Giancarlo Stanton, who only played in 18 games in 2019, will probably miss Opening Day this year due to a Grade 1 calf strain.

When will this end? Just like last year, injury upon injury upon injury.

The game only went 4 1/2 innings.

The Yanks got six in the third, thanks to the champs playing like chumps.

A single, a walk. A WP to put runners on 2nd and 3rd. DH Erik Kratz reaches on a throwing error that lets two runs score. D.J. LeMahieu doubled in Kratz. A walk, and a HBP load the bases. Gary Sanchez hits a SF to bring in one run, and the other runners move up two bases (one scoring) on a throwing error by the CF. A WP to bring in another run.

We’ll take it, but that was one ugly inning by Washington.

Pitching Line:

Tanaka 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up a 2-run HR  9.00
Britton (W, 1-0) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  0.00
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  0.00
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  0.00

If Stanton isn’t available Opening Day, it opens up DH for Miguel Andujar, who started in LF today.

 

S.T. Game 4. Yanks win game 4-1, but find out Seve done for year, needs TJ surgery.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees (1-2-1) won their first spring training game on Tuesday, but suffered a much greater loss.

Luis Severino, who missed almost all of 2019 with shoulder issues (save for three games at the end of the season and two postseason starts), will need Tommy John surgery. This will force him to miss all of 2020 and a good portion of 2021.

For 2017 and 2018, Seve averaged 16-7, 3.18. Now just about nothing last year and now nothing at all this year.

We’ll get to how that affects the rotation in a bit.

As for the game today, the Yanks won 4-1 over Toronto.

The bats still haven’t come alive, as the Yanks struck out 17x. The pitchers did strike out 13. The hitters are behind the pitchers right now.

DH Chris Iannetta had two hits, one a double, and scored a run. OF Rosell Herrera had 2 RBI.

Aaron Judge is expected to be ready to go in the middle of next week (Shoulder).

Pitching line:

Tropeano 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  0.00
Cessa (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  0.00
Avilan (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  5.40
Lyons (H, 1 ) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  0.00
Kriske (W, 1-0; BS, 1) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.50    Gave up solo HR.
Acevedo (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K  0.00
Keller (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K  0.00
Alvarez (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  0.00

Tropeano (12-14, 4.51 MLB career) has an outside shot at the #5 spot in the rotation, along with others I will list.

As of now, the rotation is

Cole
Tanaka
Happ
Montgomery
Take your pick: Tropeano, Cessa, Clarke Schmidt, Mike King, Loaisiga, Deivi Garcia.

The early part of the Yanks’ schedule isn’t too bad. Good.

Hopefully when Paxton and German come back in May and June things straighten out a bit. Hopefully Paxton is OK physically and German both physically but also mentally and emotionally from that domestic abuse incident.

When they come back, barring more injuries (please, no) then

Cole
Paxton
Tanaka
Happ
Montgomery OR German

Now that isn’t too bad, even WITH the loss of Severino. Not as good, obviously, but until then,

someone from that group of Tropeano, Cessa, Clarke Schmidt, Mike King, Loaisiga, Deivi Garcia has to just hold the fort for two months.

We will see who does.

 

 

 

 

S.T. Game 3. Yanks tie 3-3. Cole and Montgomery solid.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees (0-2-1) are still looking for their first spring training game win this year but Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery were both solid in a 3-3 tie vs. the Pirates.

Montgomery missed most of 2018 and 2019 with TJ surgery.

1B Brandon Wagner, who spent 2019 mostly at AA, drove in 2 runs.

Pittsburgh scored one run on a PB by Yanks’ C Erik Kratz. Kratz himself scored on a WP by Pittsburgh, as pitchers and catchers are not quite in sync yet, and pitchers seem to be ahead of the hitters right now, too, as the Yankees pitchers struck out 14.

Cole 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  0.00
Montgomery 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.  0.00
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  0.00
Otero 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  0.00
Gil 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  9.00
Medina 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.  0.00
Rosa (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K.  0.00
Otto (BS, 1) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K.  9.00

 

 

S.T. Game 2. Andujar HRs, but Yanks lose 9-7.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (0-2) lost to Tampa Bay 9-7 in their S.T. game today.

Good news: Miguel Andujar homered. Jonathan Loaisiga had a 1-2-3 inning. He is competing for the #5 starter job or a spot starter/long relief position.

There weren’t too many “major leaguers” who played. It was mostly minor leaguers. The only possible MLB players were Tyler Wade, Andujar, Luke Voit, maybe Thairo Estrada or David Hale, and that’s about it.

It came out today that Voit’s injury that sabotaged the second half of 2019 for him was worse than thought. He basically ripped everything. 3 ligaments on both sides of his groin had to be repaired in the off season. In the first half of last year, he had 17 HR and 50 RBI. Do the math. 34 and 100.

He feels fine now. Good sign. Even lost a little weight to make him a little more flexible. But that injury wasn’t just a sports hernia. It explains the big drop off in the second half.

Two hits for Chris Gittens today after he homered yesterday.

Estrada with a hit and an RBI.

Two hits and 2 RBI for OF Trey Amburgey. I like this kid. Righty hitter, 25. Hit .274-22-62 for AAA SWB last year. But no room for him at MLB level right now.

Pitching line:

Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K   0.00  Nice
Hale 2/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K.  40.50   Not so hot.
Lyons 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. Threw a WP that let a run in. 0.00
Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 0.00  A top prospect.
Nelson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K.   0.00
Yajure 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.   0.00
Vizcaino (H,1) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.  18.00
Abreu (H,1)  1 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K.  9.00
Lane (L; BS) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K.  27.00
Reeves 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K, 0.00

C Wynston Sawyer, who spent last year (43 Games) with the Twins AAA team, made two errors, I didn’t see the one, but the other was quite embarrassing.

Gerrit Cole will pitch tomorrow (Monday) night.

S.T. Game 1: Happ looks great, but Yanks fall, 2-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

First things first. As far as spring training results go, I don’t care until about March 17 or so.

Most early S.T. games are decided late by players who will be in the minors, sometimes AA or lower, so there is that.

I do care about injuries. Making sure your top players don’t get hurt in these games. And in that regard, news about Aaron Judge’s aching shoulder are encouraging.

Already we know about German’s suspension. Paxton being out. The uncertainty of Severino. Hicks out until June. We don’t need more.

The Yanks only got three hits today—all by minor leaguers—in a 2-1 loss to Toronto.

There was some good in this.

J.A. Happ pitched two perfect innings. Six up, six down. Happ had a poor 2019 (12-8, 4.91) but was 7-0, 2.69 after the Yanks traded for him in 2018, a season in which he went 17-6, 3.65 between Toronto and the Yanks. He went 20-4, 3.18 for Toronto in 2016.

Happ, 37, needs to step up with German, Paxton and probably Severino out. Today was a good starting point.

The Yanks’ only run came on a bottom of the ninth HR by Chris Gittens. Gittens will probably start the year at AAA SWB. He isn’t young, 26. He hit .281-23-77 at AA last year.

Another hit, a double, came off the bat of Ben Ruta. Ruta, an OF, turns 26 in June. He’ll probably be at AAA too. He hit .260-8-55 with 25 SB at AA Trenton last year. So far in the minors he has shown a decent BA (.271) but no power, but good speed.

The game ended with the Yanks having the tying run on second and the winning run on first.

Pitching line:

Happ 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 0.00
King 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 0.00
Cessa 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 0.00
Tropeano (L) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.  9.00
Avilan 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.   13.50
Ort 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  0.00
Acevedo 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K, 0.00
Kriske 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  0.00

Ok, something on some other guys. Tropeano, 29, RHP, has pitched in the majors for Houston and the Angels. 39 starts and  3 relief appearances, so he is competing for a 5 spot or spot starter/long relief role, probably against Cessa. MLB career: 12-14, ERA 4.51. ERA+ 90.

King got in one game at the end of the year for the Yanks last year after being injured most of the year. 2 IP, 1 R, unearned. He had a great 2018 in the minors, going 11-5, 1.79 from High A to AAA. He’ll be 25 in May. He is fighting for the #5 starter job, probably will go to AAA but I think you WILL see him sometime this season.

The last person to discuss, and don’t disregard him, is Brooks Kriske. This is a guy I feel you WILL see this year. Between High A and AA last year, the RHP went 3-3, 2.08 with 12 saves and 80K in 60.2 IP. Someone to keep an eye on.

 

Severino shut down with forearm soreness.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The signing of Gerrit Cole doesn’t look like icing on the cake now. Now it appears to have been a necessity.

From MLB.com:

Yankees right-hander Luis Severino is dealing with forearm soreness and has a loose body in his right pitching elbow, manager Aaron Boone told reporters Thursday.

Per Boone, Severino has felt soreness throughout the offseason — particularly when throwing his changeup — dating back to his final start against the Astros in Game 3 of last year’s American League Championship Series. The 26-year-old is likely to visit with Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees’ team physician, on Friday to determine the next steps.

Boone was unable to declare whether Severino will be ready for the start of the season.

Injuries involving Severino’s rotator cuff and lat muscle sidelined him for much of the 2019 season. He returned for three starts in September before making two more starts in the postseason. Fellow Yankees starter James Paxton is already sidelined until May at the earliest after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst in his back, meaning New York may need to look to younger pitchers like Jordan Montgomery or Jonathan Loaisiga to fill in its back-of-the-rotation slots.

Boone also told reporters that slugger Aaron Judge is expected to begin his hitting program on Friday. Judge is working his way back from shoulder soreness that kept him out of the cage for the first few days of camp.

One thing that MLB.com forgot to mention is the suspension incurred by Domingo German which will keep HIM out of the rotation until early June.

All of a sudden, Mike King, Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia become more important, as do Luis Cessa and also the Chad Green opener option.

Also, another report has Severino not meeting with Dr. Ahmad tomorrow, but as having been prescribed anti-inflammatories. We’ll find out more later.

My concern is that forearm soreness usually signifies another problem that leads to TJ surgery. Hopefully it isn’t that. That would cost Severino all of 2020 and half of 2021.

The Yanks need Severino as the #2 behind Cole. They need the 2017 and 2018 Severino.

Fingers crossed.

Cole’s first S.T. game to be Monday.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gerrit Cole’s first spring training game is set to be Monday, as the Yanks’ line up their new ace to open the season in Baltimore on March 26.

The spring training game—-the second at home for the Yanks at their S.T. home in Tampa—will be against the team Cole broke into the majors with, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

As for Saturday and the Yanks’ S.T. opener at home vs. Toronto, the starter will be J.A. Happ.

As for Aaron Judge’s sore shoulder, if it were the regular season, he’d be playing, but there is no use in taking unnecessary risks in spring training.

With Andy Pettitte in camp as an adviser, and currently working with Masahiro Tanaka on a cutter, you have to wonder if pitching coach could be in Andy’s future?